The world is not a great place for people who have nowhere to go. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are homeless. According to statistics, around 1.56 million people, or about 0.5% of the U.S. population, are homeless. One custodian, however, makes sure some of these people always have a place to turn to for clothes, food, and much more. For the past three years, Carolyn Collins, a custodian at Tucker High School, has been making a difference in students’ lives. She calls this “The Care Closet.” This is her amazing story.
The Care Closet is actually a custodian closet transformed into free supplies closet. This is all for homeless students.
Carolyn is the one who always makes sure to keep it full, using her own money to buy all the things.
Isn’t that amazing?
How did all this come to being? Carolyn came up with the idea three years ago. It was when a homeless student approached her to tell her they were hungry and had no place to go. She was touched.
“These are our babies. They just want to learn and, you know, some are sleeping in a car, some are sleeping in hotels, and I just want to take care of them,” Carolyn told 11Alive.
“I tell the teachers a lot, if you see a child always with their head down, with the same clothes on repeatedly, day after day, you know, let me know.”
Carolyn’s life hasn’t been perfect either. As a matter of fact, she lost her son three years ago. He was a victim of a home invasion and that was her motivation for the Care Closet.
“I’m just trying to stop our young boys from stealing and killing,” she told 11Alive. “Because they’re homeless and they’re crying out for help and love, and I’m trying to give them all they need in this closet so [they] don’t have to go out and try and steal and take from no one.”
In terms of numbers, Carolyn helps around 20-30 students per year, but things the number of kids who need help is in fact bigger. According to statistics, she is totally right.
According to the National Centre for Education, during the 2014-2015 school year, more than 1.2 million public elementary and secondary school students were homeless. Moreover, 82,000 of these were living in hotels or motels, whereas 180,000 were staying in shelters, transitional housing or waiting for foster care placement. Also, 39,000 had no place to call home. In the past decade, the numbers have doubled.
“Students who don’t have a stable place to go after school and at night are more likely to do poorly in class and more likely to drop out of school altogether, which means they are less likely to go to college, to find good employment, and to lead productive adult lives,” reports The Atlantic.
Source: Civic Enterprises/The Atlantic
The numbers show that the issue with homeless people is a great one and needs to be taken care of. This makes Carolyn’s work more meaningful. Interestingly, Carolyn’s special story became one of the most watched stories on 11Alive. This resulted in a woman named La Detra White surprising Carolyn with more than $1,300 worth of cash and gifts for the closet.
Watch Carolyn’s touching story below:
Here are some people who were homeless at some point in their lives.